DRM Deja Vu: Yahoo! Music shutting down. Any music you purchased through it will soon be useless.

Here’s a familiar song. Yahoo! Music is calling it quits and taking their key servers down on September 30, 2008. If you’re one of the dozen people who bought DRM protected music through that service, well, it sucks to be you:

Once the Yahoo store goes down and the key servers go offline, existing tracks cannot be authorized to play on new computers. Instead, Yahoo recommends the old, lame, and lossy workaround of burning the files to CD, then reripping them onto the computer. Sure, you’ll lose a bunch of blank CDs, sound quality, and all the metadata, but that’s a small price to pay for the privilege of being able to listen to that music you lawfully acquired. Good thing you didn’t download it illegally or just buy it on CD!

There’s probably some software out there on the Interwebs that’ll rip that DRM out for you as well, but those are technically illegal for you to use under the DMCA. Still, it beats the hell out of the Yahoo! approved method of securing the files you legally purchased.

Has Yahoo! been hacked?

Just got off the phone with my Dad after trying to diagnose a possible virus on his computer. Every time he starts up Firefox it goes nuts saying there’s a virus incoming and to abort the connection. We set up a Remote Assistance so I could see what was going on and indeed every time he tried to go to his homepage he got a virus warning. That homepage just happens to be Yahoo.com. Here’s the popup he was getting:

Seeing that there was something being appended to the end my first stop was to see what his homepage was configured for in his browser. Sometimes when you install malware on your system it’ll change the default webpage of your browser so it can install even more junk, but pulling up the options screen it was clear that last bit wasn’t part of the URL. That seemed odd so on a lark I tried to pull up Yahoo myself and, sure enough, my Avast went nuts warning me of a virus and showing the same URL. I’m pretty sure both our PCs aren’t unknowingly infected with the same virus so the only logical conclusion is that it must be coming from Yahoo! directly. Either they’re trying to pull something over on their users or their servers have been hacked.

Anyone else experiencing the same thing at the moment? Dad says it was fine earlier today and there’s nothing on any of the tech sites I frequent about it so it must be something that’s happened only recently.

Update: It appears that it’s a false positive with Avast. Manually telling it to update the .dat files cleared up the issue.

Yahoo! announces their webmail storage will now be unlimited.

When Google first launched their Gmail service with a whopping 2GB of storage space way back when it stunned a lot of people. Up until that point most webmail services offered you only a couple of megabytes at the most for free and perhaps a doubling if you were willing to cough up some cash. After the splash Google made with their announcement everyone else played catchup and that included Yahoo! which started offering 1GB for free and 2GB for a monthly fee.

Now as Yahoo! Mail is set to celebrate it’s 10th anniversary (man it’s hard to believe it’s been around that long) they’ve decided to out do Google by offering unlimited storage for Yahoo! Mail users:

As Yahoo! Mail approaches its 10-year anniversary, I’m the lucky one who gets to announce that we will begin offering everyone unlimited email storage starting in May 2007. To mark the occasion, I checked in with David Nakayama, our group vice president of engineering, for some perspective on this milestone. In case that name doesn’t ring a bell, he’s the developer of RocketMail, one of the world’s first webmail products, which Yahoo! acquired and relaunched as Yahoo! Mail in 1997.

Dave reminisced: “I remember getting in a room to plan our RocketMail launch over a decade ago and worrying that our original plan of a 2MB quota wasn’t enough, and that we needed to be radical and DOUBLE the storage to 4MB per account! It’s ironic that I routinely send and receive individual mail attachments bigger than that now. Our total capacity for mail accounts back then was 200GB for all of our customers. At Yahoo!, we’re now receiving more inbound mail than that every 10 minutes.”

When Yahoo! Mail launched 10 years ago, users got a whopping 4MB of storage for their entire mailbox. Today, you would fill that up with a single picture from your weekend.

This is pretty impressive when you realize that Yahoo! Mail is the largest of the offerings with over 250 million global users compared to Live.com’s 228 million and Gmail’s 51 million users. That’s a lot of hard drive farms. If you’re a Yahoo! Mail user who’s been grousing over the cramped storage space lately then your prayers will be answered come May.